Following on from ONE’s debut on TNT last Wednesday in a blockbuster event, the second installment of the series goes down this Wednesday with another star-studded card! A womens Muay Thai affair graces the co-main event slot, with atomweight kickboxing queen Janet Todd, taking on number 3 ranked atomweight Muay Thai practitioner, Anne Line Hogstad. In this piece, I will take a closer look at this matchup, what it means for both fighters and the stylistic conflict which is sure to keep us intrigued.
For Anne Line Hogstad, this bout is a huge opportunity, not just to progress up the ranks in ONE’s Muay Thai scene but to beat a bonified champion in the organization who has looked phenomenal up until this point. She has been out of action for some time, her last outing being her ONE debut where she pipped Australia’s Alma Juniku to a majority decision. So, with just one win under the promotion, being granted a matchup with a champion so soon, it’s fair to say Anne has a fair amount of pressure on her shoulders with what could be a breakthrough performance. If she manages to win this fight, I can only imagine a title shot would be next given the lack of clear-cut contenders in that atomweight division. So, for Anne, this is a fight that could very well open the door to ONE gold.
As for Janet Todd, this fight lights the way for another crack at ONE Muay Thai gold, a chance she just fell short at in 2019 in her ONE debut. Since that defeat, she finds herself on a 5-fight win streak, a streak which also saw her realise ONE gold, this time in kickboxing, avenging her prior loss to Stamp Fairtex to reach the sport’s pinnacle. Stamp set the blueprint for becoming a two-sport champion in ONE and now Janet Todd looks to do the same after taking one of her titles and I have no doubt that she has all the ability to do just that. Her last outing also came to Alma Juniku, a bout which she won handily by unanimous decision to set her off back in the direction of the belt. Now, she faces the number 3 name in the division and with the profile she already has, much like Hogstad I think this fight will grant that title shot she has been longing for since her debut.
Anne Line Hogstad
Now let’s look at how they matchup stylistically. First of all, the newcomer, Anne Line Hogstad. Hogstad is a very tough, hard-nosed, durable fighter who certainly isn’t afraid to back down from a war. To get a more recent account of her style, what she likes to do and for the sake of a mutual opponent, I will be looking closely at the Alma Juniku fight in her ONE debut.
Anne did come out quite hesitant, almost like she was adopting a counter striking approach in a very reactionary manner. She would only really throw any sort of attack in reaction to Alma throwing something at her, potentially acting as a feeling out process, seeing what her opponent would throw and adapting to it.
She certainly seems to favour the kicks, perpetuating the leg kicks throughout the fight. Given the fact she has a solid gas tank, the volume distribution round to round was relatively good and definitely growing into the bout as it progressed. She likes to chain kicks together, leg kicks, push kicks to the body to negate range, body kicks and head kicks, usually coming in sequences. Although she seems to want to control range with the push kick, she doesn’t really tend to move a great deal, often just standing in one spot waiting to counter or for Alma to come into range.
I honestly think with the tools she is better at, a pressure fighting approach would really do her good. This is somewhat demonstrated in the latter stages of the Juniku fight where she does start to get more aggressive. Her inside boxing work is quite effective as she packs a punch for her weight class, so I think pairing that with a pressure approach and the leg kicks to compromise the movement of her opponent could actually work quite well for her.
A combo she tends to favor is firing a cross down the middle off a head kick or body kick, a technique we often see used in high level kickboxing as it is crafty and can be effective. Lowering the guard with a body kick and following up to the exposed head with the cross.
Another reason I think she should adopt a more of a pressure fighting approach is because of her clinch work. Her clinch work surprisingly is actually one of the strongest parts of her game, remaining very active with knees and landing those inside elbows with very impressive impact and consistency. She only really started adopting the clinch in the latter end of the Juniku fight and I think it’s something she ought to call upon more. Her elbows in the clinch are money shots and I think against someone as skilled and technical as Todd, she needs to make this a rough fight, bully her on the inside and in the clinch and not playing into her game. She has the chin, gas tank and tools to become a solid Muay Thai pressure fighter, if she adopts a more aggressive and rough approach to this fight, I don’t think there’s any reason why she can’t grind out a victory here.
Now for the champ. Although Janet Todd has a Muay Thai base, there is a reason she has become a ONE world champion in kickboxing. She is very technical, very cerebral and has all the qualities needed to become a two-sport world champion.
Janet Todd is a very versatile fighter as seen in the Juniku fight, she is quite happy to fight off the back foot or adopt a pressure approach. But I honestly think when she applies the pressure and finds her momentum, there is no one in that division that can beat her.
Her kicking is well disguised with her hands and they are already a huge danger. The fact that she can throw strikes with such speed and ferocity makes it so difficult for it to be counteracted. Although her clinch work is very good, I definitely think she fights best at range where she dictates the engagements and the pace of the fight. Not only this but her boxing style is very straight and fast as opposed to tight and powerful, that’s not to say she doesn’t have power because she very well does, that’s what makes her so dangerous.
When she finds her groove in the Juniku fight she looks unstoppable, pressuring very well and cutting off the cage to pen her opponent in, this funnels down the angle and she blasts those punches down the pipe with incredible speed. She also loves to variate her angles by stepping off the centre line and coming back in, firing off at different angles to catch her opponent off guard. The fact that she is so fast aids this massively.
Her defensive awareness is very good too, paired with her reactions she doesn’t tend to eat too many big strikes. Not only does she have fast hands, but her kicks are very fast too, especially the switch kick she often throws, it packs a punch and a great deal of speed and she can break girls down with it.
Another thing Janet Todd is very good as it the ability to shift gears and negate range very well. As we saw in the Juniku fight, she fought at a relatively long range but when she saw the opportunity to come in and land, she fires off that double jab to close the distance with such speed, pushing her opponent to the fence with no where to go and nailing her with a right hand. Janet does so many things so well that she simply just overwhelms girls. The combination of blistering speed and power, as well as an intelligent sense of ring generalship and range control really sets her in good stead, she’s not one dimensional or a headhunter, she mixes her shots up with such fluidity and speed and all in all she’s a real danger to that Muay Thai belt.
I think this bout will come down to who controls the pace, if Janet Todd can put her boxing to work and gain that momentum with calculated pressure, I see her winning, If Anne Line Hogstad can make the fight rough, use her power and clinch work, I can see her taking it. I do think Janet has the top tier experience on her side and is more technically gifted, but you can’t count Anne out, her toughness and stamina combined with her close-range tools could get it done, she just needs to use them more and stick to a set game plan throughout. Will Janet advance in her quest for a second belt or will Hogstad spoil the run? Tune in on Wednesday to find out!
Featured Image Credits to ONE Championship
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